We have a few ladies on mission in an undisclosed and difficult area... they are ministering to families of underground missionaries... esp. their children.
How serious is the secrecy of this report? Let me put it this way... the children of these 300 missionaries being ministered to... have NO IDEA... that their parents are... missionaries.
I've received the following e-mail from one of our ladies. I have of course had to edit the message to post here... but thought some might benefit from reading it in general.
Thought I would give you my quickest version of some big news.
Monday we really started real work. which is what, amazingly enough, we've all been anxious for. The Missionaries did their best to entertain us for a few days as though we needed an incentive to work with them this week. I thought it was probably just me who was ready to end the fun and start the job, but in our meeting that morning it was quickly apparent that we were tired of "tasting the local cuisine (which really isn't that bad)" and we were ready to "feast on the work of the Lord.” Anyway. I could talk for hours about that morning alone. The hard/easy part came that night.
We went into a quick meeting with all of them (the only one we're aloud into for the week). And even though it was kept light hearted, there was no hiding the fact that the past year had been really really hard for these guys. The company’s been going through a reorganization and most of them feel like the rug's been pulled out from under them.
We’d heard all day about these sad stories of poor living conditions and life threats and persecutions they live in. It was sad to think about people being here, isolated, barely any amenities and barely any communication in some places. And here they were... all the unnamed heroes who are really risking their lives and sacrificing SOOO much to live in shit holes and be basically forgotten about by thousands and thousands and thousands of people. All to maybe.. just maybe... be able to gain enough trust to tell someone about Jesus with without being murdered, kicked out of the country, or thrown in jail.
It was so so so powerful to just be in the room with them and have them mention here's and there's about their lives like there was nothing to it.
At the meeting that morning with the volunteers, the guy in charge was giving us some quick facts and figures about the situation of these people that were to join us later on and he mentioned one person in particular who lived in $*$#&*$. $*$#&*$ is an Island that has experienced earthquakes and is a few Islands from here. He mentioned that $*$#&*$ was the single most closed Island in the region.
It is dangerous if you are found out. Anything but Islam is NOT allowed, and this year they had a connection that led to a salvation and it was a miraculous moment. ONE salvation. Thousands of people on this Island. Only 4 salvations on it EVER. and one happened this year. and this guy is here somewhere. anyway... just giving you an idea about $*$#&*$. Major persecution for Christians.
Monday night in the meeting he had the groups serving in certain regions stand, as a whole. That was pretty sweet. He called out the Philippines, and 5 or 6 stood and sat. Then went on.. so and so region (a few people would stand) and so and so region (a few more)... then he called $*$#&*$ (I got excited to see this guy) and TWO WHOLE ROWS of people stood up. Almost 25 M’s! and every other M in the room started clapping and cheering for them. and it took all I had not to just bawl. I've only been that choked up a few times in my life.
To think that, THAT many people were willing to go into that kind of darkness. Just for a chance... not a good one either. It was.. indescribable. Then we watched a video with different pictures of the different M's and the areas their serving in and it just showed then in action with their everyday lives. It should have been horribly sad, to see these warriors for Christ, not with a bible in their hands or praying over people, but working as teachers or in a bike shop or a boat rental store having to hide their faith while they try to build connections....
Anyway, I'm rambling, the point. This whole trip, especially today, and most definitely tonight I had this feeling and I can only think of one way to explain it. You know when something just feels like home, or just feels right. Like when you’re kids are safely in bed or like certain relationships with people? Like you look at something in your life and hear God say "Yes" and immediate peace comes over You. That's what I felt that night.... Thinking "Why am I here? I was not made to be like this.. this is not purpose.... is it?" And there it was. "Yes" and a peace I can't ever, ever explain.
Now obviously I have no idea where or when or even IF. But I have never felt that I was meant to serve over seas, separated from my world, like this until now. And it's over powering, but its beautiful and it's peaceful. Can't define it. Can't contain it. Can't Explain it. Shalom.
Part Two: Bob Reeling has asked me to share my Testimony with all of these Missionaries and their families in our final Service Sunday night as an inspiration for them. Well, he asked me to pray about it (he knows this scares me). Sadly, however, I know it is something I am supposed to do. So I ask that you and Mrs. XtnYoda keep me (all of us) in your prayers. For wisdom of words and strength to say them without crying them all out. lol.
Anyway, we miss you guys and I thought you'd like to know. See you soon.
Please know, His Servant... you are covered.